Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pakistani Captain or Angel in Disguise?

I love days like this. Days where my 4 year old begs to stop in a park, so he can take his shoes off and dash up to some friendly looking Indian men for a conversation.

"What'd you tell them?" I asked after he spent a quarter of an hour showing them his personal karate moves and talking with them about god knows what.

"I told them I was Indian!" he said.

I laughed, remembering them repeatedly looking over with a wide smile. Now I knew why. Lukas went on, adding, "Yeah, and that I have all these arrows on my back!"

I love that he makes friends wherever he goes. Just like his Mama when she was little (at the age of 6 I brought home a "Big friend Mary", an elderly neighbor who I quickly befriended.)

So there was that, and then there was the boat incident. I needed a taxi, and a passerby assured me that I would find one if I just walked along the sidewalk bordering the river for some minutes. I did just that, and - still seeing no sign of a taxi - called the cab company. Having no real idea where to tell them to come, I asked the next available person - an older gentleman from the Far East with dark, paan-stained teeth on the deck of a nearby yacht. "Near the Saudi Consulate!" he exclaimed is somewhat broken English. When the taxi couldn't find us he took the phone, impatiently explaining in his Pakistani mother tongue how the taxi could reach us. In the meantime, he invited us to have a seat on his boss' vacant yacht, one of two heirs to Dubai's throne. We had been outside in the heat for hours (exploring my favorite corner of Dubai - the historic arabic gem known as the Al Bastakiya area) and were drenched. Still I was hesitant, but he was adamant that we wait on board, and the children needed no convincing whatsoever. For a moment we sat in the plastic chairs that he quickly provided, peering in at the smooth leather interior of the boat's entertaining area. But not five minutes had passed before our Pakistani friend walked us out to the curbside, waving down the taxi as it approached, helping Lukas inside before packing the stroller into the trunk for us.

I believe that there are angels among us, and today he took the form of a very thoughtful Pakistani man, Captain of the Prince's boat.

For days like this - and people like him - I am so very thankful.

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